What is Earl Grey tea? Earl Grey tea is a tea that is infused with bergamot. To produce Earl Grey tea, the rind of bergamot orange is usually cold pressed to produce bergamot oil extract. This fragrant oil is then added to the tea leaves. Another method of producing Earl Grey tea is to dry the rind of bergamot orange and then add it to the tea leaves.
Black tea leaves are usually used for Earl Grey, but sometimes, green tea leaves or oolong tea leaves are also used. The resulting floral and citrus flavors make Earl Grey tea a delight to drink in the morning and at night. Read below to discover 10 outstanding health benefits of Earl Grey tea.
History of Earl Grey Tea
Earl Grey tea is associated with royalty and is a staple at high profile events such as meetings between heads of state. Named after Earl Charles Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s, Earl Grey tea is a blend of exquisite Chinese teas. There are many stories surrounding the origin of this flavored tea.
One of the most popular stories comes from the archives of the Grey family itself. It is believed that the tea was blended by a Chinese envoy for Lord Grey using a fruit called bergamot to counterbalance the taste of lime in the local water. The beverage became so popular that he was asked if the tea could be sold on the market and that’s probably how Earl Grey tea came into being.
Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea
1. Prevention of Heart Disease
One of the most outstanding health benefits of Earl Grey tea is heart health. Drinking three cups of Earl Grey daily may help reduce your risk for heart disease. A 2012 study published in Preventative Medicine found that individuals who drank three cups of black tea daily significantly lowered their blood triglyceride levels and increased their HDL (good cholesterol) after three months. Participants also had increased levels of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and their damaging effects.
2. Boosts Energy
Earl Grey made with a black tea base contains moderate amounts of caffeine. The energy boost that it provides is more subtle and stable compared to coffee. Additionally, the caffeine content is low enough that it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar, nor make you feel jittery.
3. Enhances Digestion
This type of tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate gastric problems such as constipation and bloating. It also soothes stomach muscles and reduces cramps. Furthermore, it minimizes nausea when consumed before boarding a plane or boat.
Do you want to detoxify your body? Then, Earl Grey tea is for you. This tea has antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals. These free radicals cause everything from premature aging to cancer. They result from an unhealthy diet, smoking, and pollution. Earl Grey tea helps detoxify the body of these free radicals.
5. Good for Oral Health
Tea contains high levels of catechins, an antioxidant which fights oral infections. Another component of Earl Grey tea is naturally occurring fluoride. Fluoride is good for dental health because it helps protect teeth from cavities. So if you’re water supply doesn’t contain enough of it, drinking Earl Grey tea is another way to get your daily dose of fluoride.
6. Cancer Prevention
Like most teas, Earl Grey contains high amounts of antioxidants which help your body to fight off free radicals that may cause cancer. Drinking this tasty beverage may reduce your chance of developing such diseases.
7. Boosts the Immune System
It’s no secret that citrus fruits help fight off colds and flu. Bergamot orange is no different. That is why Earl Grey is popular in the United States and Europe during winter months when colds are rampant. It helps boost the immune system, thanks to the presence of vitamin C.
8. Fights Anxiety and Depression
The bergamot in Earl Grey tea has a calming effect and can boost a person’s mood. This is due to its natural aromatherapy qualities. As such, Earl Grey is a good option for people suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.
9. Weight Loss
One of the most popular uses of Earl Grey tea is for weight loss. While there’s no alternative to regular exercise and a healthy diet to shed those extra pounds, drinking Earl Grey tea improves metabolism and can help you lose weight more quickly. The citrus extract in the tea is believed to increase energy consumption and regulate metabolic processes that both contribute to weight loss.
10. Keeps You Hydrated
Unlike the dehydrating properties of coffee, Earl Grey tea can help keep you hydrated as well as maintain your body’s fluid balance, thanks to its high potassium content. It is also a great alternative to plain drinking water. Its citrusy and malty flavors can also satisfy people with a sweet tooth.
Tips for Brewing Earl Grey Tea
Earl Grey teas vary widely, so you may have to adjust temperatures and steeping times accordingly to achieve the best flavor. But in general, you can follow these tips to brew the perfect Earl Grey tea.
Use High-Quality Water
Use pure spring or filtered water in brewing Earl Grey tea. Spring water usually delivers the best taste results. If possible, avoid using distilled or tap water as herbs and tea don’t develop flavors well in these mediums.
Brew at the Right Temperature
For Earl Grey teas with a black tea base, you should brew at higher temperatures. As a rule of thumb, brew at 200 to 212 degrees F. On the other hand, for Earl green teas, brew between 150 and 180 degrees F.
The best way to control the temperature is to use a tea kettle with a built in thermometer. If you don’t have one, use the bubbles to gauge the temperature. Water simmers at around 190 degrees F and boils at 212 degrees F. If you’re going to use Earl Grey black tea, brew with water before it reaches a rolling boil. For Earl green tea, remove the water from the heat when tiny bubbles start forming on the bottom of the pan.
Use the Right Amount of Tea
You can skip this tip if you are brewing with tea bags. Otherwise, use about two grams of loose leaf tea for every eight ounces of water. Add a little extra or a little less to tweak the flavor.
To enhance the flavor of your Earl Grey tea, use a lid to keep the heat in your cup. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavors will be. Keep in mind that teas that are brewed too long develop bitter flavors. Steep Earl Grey tea for 2 – 4 minutes. After two minutes, taste every 30 seconds to achieve the best flavor.
You can enjoy Earl Grey tea as is or with the addition of honey, and/or lemon. If it’s your first time to taste this type of tea, try it without additives. It’s the best way to enjoy its nuanced flavor profile. But if you want, you can add honey or lemon to Earl Grey tea to suit your taste.
The health benefits of Earl Grey tea range from improved heart health to improved digestive health. Classic Earl Grey features lemony and malty notes. These contrasting, yet delightful flavors make this tea a distinctive beverage that is beloved by many.
To learn more about nutrition, as well as how to be fit and healthy, sign up to FITin56!